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Archive for November, 2008

Some people dread going home for the holidays, running into high school classmates, and just the general 24/7 family time requirement. I am NOT one of those people.

I am, however, a little anxious about my five year high school reunion. No, anxious isn’t the right word. Oddly enough, I loved high school. No horror stories, no mortifying moments. It’s not much of a stretch to say that I would relive those years without changing much of anything. Believe me, I was ready for college when it came, but I can definitely look back without cringing (too much).

I guess I’d call what I’m feeling curiosity. That’s better. When I’ve been home before, I’ve seen the people I want to see. At this reunion, I’ll see everyone else. And I am curious.

I know of at least five girls who are now mommies, and at least four others who are married. Some people have been off traveling, some haven’t left the five mile radius we grew up in. (I swear I’m not judging. Just observing. For serious.) But then again, it’s also only five years since graduation – how much could everyone have changed?

My guess is that it could go a couple ways:

  • 1) I’ll go to the reunion, enjoy the open bar, catch-up with people I haven’t seen in years, and vow to keep better in touch, since I’ll be having so much fun with them.
  • 2) I’ll go to the reunion, enjoy the open bar, leave early with the few people I actually have kept in touch with, and realize there’s a reason it’s been so long since I’ve seen some classmates.

Either way, it’s an open bar and I get to reminisce about (or repeat) being young and stupid.

Who ever said I wasn’t optimistic?

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*Exaggerating? What do you mean, exaggerating?

I’m pretty sure that anyone who has ever run on a treadmill – or, really, even thought about it – has had that fear: Dear, God, what if I fall off? What if it goes too fast? What if I hit the emergency stop button by accident? What if…well, you get it.

At the gym once, I was running near a girl who was really picking up the pace. I was impressed, and glanced over every now and then to marvel at how fast she was going. And then it happened. She hit that point where her legs couldn’t keep up with the treadmill, and I heard a slight thud, even through my headphones. When I looked over again, she was hanging on for dear life, while her feet were being dragged off the end of the belt.

I couldn’t, for the life of me, understand why she didn’t just let go. There was no getting up from her position. There was no way of hopping back on and pretending she’d just tripped up a bit. But she hung on a little while more. Once she finally detached herself from the treadmill, I laughed to myself a little bit, replaying the image in my head. (Oh come on. Please. She wasn’t hurt, I promise. Just a little embarrassed. I think. At least, I would have been.) But I didn’t want to laugh too loud because, well, karma’s a bitch.treadmill

Fast forward a few years later to last night, when I decided to test my speed on the treadmill. I’m quite the daredevil, obviously. So I gear up; I stretch; I pick out my iPod playlist, and I start running. For all of about a minute (or less), until I’m thrown forward. And the treadmill just shut down. I wish I could say the gym was empty, or that my crash wasn’t too noticeable, but the *thud* of me slamming into the controls was loud enough that the runner next to me paused, checked to see if I was okay, and asked what had happened.

I checked the usual suspects: no, I hadn’t hit the stop button. No, the treadmill hadn’t come unplugged. No, I hadn’t hit the other emergency stop button. What the hell?

And then I saw it. That damn exercise ball. Yeah, you know the really big ones that you can sit on, that really just look like toys? Apparently in the entire sixty seconds I’d been running, that ball had crept over (from about three feet away!), determined to make a fool out of someone, and wedged itself under the machine enough to stop the rotation of the belt.

It’s almost worse than falling, because the odds of an exercise ball getting sucked in by the treadmill belt? Like, a million to one. If that.

So I thanked the guy next to me for his concern, removed the ball all the way to the other side of the gym (and moved the other exercise ball, too, lest we have a repeat), and finally got back on the treadmill, all the while thinking that I was tempting fate.

I also vowed to myself that I would NOT laugh at anyone else who had treadmill issues because now I understand. I’ve been there.

And because I know karma will get me in the end.

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So I attended my very first blogger happy hour, and made it out unscathed. (If I was a recipient of any of the biting that was apparently going on, a) I don’t remember, and b) it didn’t leave a mark. Thank god.) I even came out of my shell enough to introduce myself to some new people – a minor feat, considering how shy I normally am. (And this was in the  beginning of the night, too! Read: very little alcohol.)

In fact, I was on such a roll with being outgoing and social, that when MJ asked me to ask a couple guys next to us if they were bloggers, too, I barely hesitated.

Liebchen: “Excuse me, are you guys here for the happy hour?”

Guy 1: “For what happy hour?”

Liebchen: “Oh, the blogger happy hour.” (Even though I knew at this point it was a no go.)

Guy 2: “Blogging?”

Guy 1: “And isn’t it a little past happy hour at this point?”

Liebchen: “Well, for us it lasts all night.”

I’m not sure exactly what that last line even means, but it sounded good at the time, especially in response to his ill-disguised sneer at “blogging.”

I’m not totally judging him; I used to be a little anti-blog, myself. But things change. And, frankly, from the looks of things Friday night (and the pictures I found on my camera the next day), we were having more fun than them anyway.

P.S. I’m not quite sure I can put up my favorite picture, so for now, check out the ones Arjewtino stole from me. And maybe I’ll add some more later. If you’re lucky.

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Mini-confession time: I absolutely love pick-up lines. I love the terribly cheesy, laugh-out-loud, there’s-no-way-you-can-take-it-seriously kind of lines (which, on occasion, turn into the I-can’t-believe-I-fell-for-that lines…oops). I’ve heard some “good” ones, myself, but also consulted outside experts (aka, my girl friends) to see what’s really being said. We came up with some gems:

(Note: I don’t recommend any of these and cannot vouch for their effectiveness, but they have been used.)

Guy: Is your shirt felt?

Girl: No.

Guy: (rubs the girl’s sleeve) Well now it is.

Wanna come upstairs and play video games?

(at a frat house) I have Smirnoff Ice in my room if you want some.

Guy: Do you know how much a polar bear weighs?

Girl: No, how much?

Guy: I don’t know, but enough to break the ice!

Hi, I play lacrosse.

Wanna go to my room and play Trivial Pursuit? (To be fair, really anything that starts with “Wanna go upstairs/to my place/back to Fort Myer…” is of the same ilk.)

And, my old personal favorite:

(whispered in my ear, like a secret) Girl, going out with me is like going out in the rain – you’re bound to get wet.

Well, damn.

But yes, I said old personal favorite, which would imply that there’s a new favorite line in town:

I can only hope that someone, anyone, uses this at the Blogger Happy Hour tonight.

Major points for making me laugh.

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Everyone has one – at least. That person who’s always down for an adventure (read: stupid, yet super fun, decision), but is also probably most likely to land you in jail. I get to see mine in one week, when I go home for Thanksgiving.

I was talking to Partner in Crime the other morning and she was giving me the update on her life and the goings on in Philly. She told me about the new boyfriend and continued with, “And he has a lot of hot man friends for you! I met one the other day and thought, Ooh, Liebchen would love him!” (God, I love being the token single friend.)

birthday_03
Champ…

Here’s the thing: this isn’t the first time she’s tried to set me up. Actually, it’s so much more than that; she calls it “bringing me presents.”

Years ago, when I was young and foolish, my birthday happened to coincide with Senior Week. You know, that week at the end of high school when parents pretend they don’t know what goes on at the various beach houses their teens have rented. Yeah, my 18th birthday was that week.

We celebrated with a piñata, Mike’s Hard Lemonade (classy, no?), Jäger shots (ouch), and telling everyone we met that I’d been a hostess at Hooters, and now that I was finally 18, I could be a waitress. (Why did people believe that? Who knows. Maybe because I had the shirt – which was a gift from an ex, no less.)

In any case, it was a stellar night and a memorable (mostly) 18th birthday. But according to PIC, it wasn’t over. I had walked back to our house with some other friends, and when she showed up, she had two boys in tow. She pulled me aside as the blond one looked on.

PIC: “Liebchen, look! I brought you a present!

Me: “Um, what do you mean ‘a present’?

PIC: [pointing to the blond] “Him! He’s for you. For your birthday!

Me: “Thanks, but…I’d really rather go to bed.

Poor guy. I’m pretty sure she sent him home after that.

But who knows what she’ll bring me at Thanksgiving.

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I realized recently that I care more about my fantasy football team than I had planned on. I was out at a bar Thursday night, looked up and saw the countdown to the Patriots vs. Jets game, and my gut reaction was: Shit, I forgot to update my roster! (Fortunately, kind of, I’m already in last place in my league. I can’t do any worse!)

fantasy_football_excuses

So, to keep tabs on my players, I spent the better part of Sunday afternoon watching football – specifically, the Eagles vs. the Bengals, but checking in elsewhere. I’m never overly optimistic about my sports teams (fantasy or otherwise), but I thought this game would be all right. While a 5-4 record doesn’t exactly indicate a team to be reckoned with, I thought the Eagles could hold their own against the 1-8 Bengals.

But they couldn’t.

I sat on the edge of my bed, leaning toward the TV, screaming every time McNabb threw an interception. It hurt a little bit. But, you know what? As frustrating as the game was, the running commentary was even more so.

With the game tied up at the end of 4th quarter, one commentator started pulling out statistics regarding the last time an NFL game had ended in a tie. I don’t think I could have cared less at that point. (As a side note: I’ve always wondered who finds all those stats and feeds them to the commentators – and just how many people are working on it at once. I may not have cared about this particular one, but some of them are so obscure, it’s fascinating.) In any case, I would have rather had more obscure statistics than the comment that followed:

What does a tie do for the Eagles? Well, it’s better than a loss, but it’s not as good as a win.

No shit, Sherlock. I’m not even sure where to start with that statement. I almost feel like my intelligence is being insulted. If you want to comment on the effect a tie could have, tell me how it will affect the Eagles’ chances in the NFC East. Give me some sense of what they’ll have to do in the rest of the season, to ensure that this tie doesn’t hurt them too terribly. Or, if it’s something that will ultimately hurt them in the end – tell me that! Don’t sugarcoat it. I’m a big girl; I can take it. I would even prefer something ridiculous like: “The last time an NFC East team ended an afternoon game in a tie on the 3rd Sunday in November, when Mercury was in the 3rd house and the weather was below 50 degrees, they went on to win their division.” (Okay, maybe the stats aren’t quite that ridiculous, but I’m not so far off. Astrology is about the only thing they don’t incorporate – yet.)

Don’t worry. Painfully obvious commentary isn’t enough to make me stop watching football, by any means, but I might just start watching on mute from time to time.

You know, the same way guys watch Britney Spears videos.

*See? I could be an NFL commentator, too!

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My parents, like most, I’m assuming (God, please don’t let it just be mine), absolutely loved messing with my head while I was growing up (in the nicest, most let’s-make-parenting-a-little-more-fun way possible, of course). Considering that they still like to mess with me, this list of “sure-fired ways to lie to/confuse your children” could conceivably grow. But, for now:

1) My parents speak in abbrevs.

No, they don’t LOL, say OMG, or even WTF (although I’m trying to get that one to catch on). They abbreviate, well, anything. It started when my brother and I were little, to keep us from understanding what they were saying. They’d ask each other, “So, are we going to let them watch DQMW with us tonight?” (We always watched Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman as a family – you know, before Jane Seymour was “Kitty Kat.”) So I grew up thinking everyone did that – everyone spoke in abbreviations. Why say the whole name of a TV show, movie, book, friend, place you were going, ANYTHING, when you could just use a couple letters?

My friends? Not amused.

My parents still speak like that. “Sorry, honey. Can’t talk now. GA’s on.” Old habits die hard.

2) They make up words (or change the meaning).

Has anyone ever called you a pita? Probably not (unless it was me). Until high school, I thought that when my parents called me a pita, it was just some word in another language that I didn’t completely understand. I got the gist – they only used it when I was irritating them. When I was being a pain. Or, more specifically, a pain in the ass.

Oh. My. God.

I felt like an idiot for not understanding sooner. And then proceeded to use the word constantly – so useful.

3) It’s not just words – they change whole phrases!

I’ve mentioned “one swell foop,” but what about “61 and a half-dozen others”? Oh, I’m sorry, you don’t know that one? How about the real one: “six of one, a half-dozen of the other”? It makes a little more sense that way when you’re comparing things, no? However, due to parental programming, I still have to think through both responses in my head before speaking. Because when a visiting friend asks, “Well, should I take Route X or Route Y?” and I respond, “Oh, you know, 61 and a half-dozen others,” I just get blank stares.

4) They lie to protect their own secrets.

As a kid, I used to snore. I was self-conscious about it, especially considering my friends would make fun of me after a sleepover. So I asked my mom if she snored. “No, honey, girls don’t snore.” What?! Girls don’t snore? What the hell was wrong with me? My brother’s snoring could wake the dead; I prayed to God I didn’t sound like that. And then, one morning, I walked into my mom’s room and heard her snoring! I distinctly remember shaking her awake: “You were snoring! You told me that girls don’t snore!” She opened her eyes and looked at me: “Oh, yeah. I guess I lied to you.

5) They pretend to be in cahoots with the Easter Bunny (and Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy).

Growing up, we spent every Easter at our grandparents’ house, where my brother and I shared a room and plotted as to how to stay up and catch the Easter Bunny in action. Our parents warned us that if we were awake, the Easter Bunny wouldn’t come (same rule applied for Santa Claus – I think it’s pretty universal). We tried every year; fell asleep every year; and, ultimately, there were Easter baskets waiting for us, every year. Except when there weren’t. Except the one morning when we rushed out of our room and there were no baskets, no hidden eggs, no hint that it was anything other than a normal Sunday.

After traipsing upstairs to proclaim this injustice to Mom and Dad, we found our Easter baskets sitting at the foot of their bed! “I guess you two just stayed up so late that the Easter Bunny delivered them here, instead.” I now realize that’s parent-code for: “I was too lazy to bring these downstairs and I knew I could make up something you’d believe.” Well played. I’m taking notes.

On the plus side, some of these tricks have already proven very useful in babysitting. However, the word-based trickery still gets me. But I’m working on it, one step at a time. I know it won’t all happen in one swell foop.

Dammit!

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